Two abusive 999 callers appear in court

Media release: Two abusive 999 callers appear in court

Two abusive 999 callers appear in court

Abusive caller costs NHS almost £25,000

A frequent caller who rang for an ambulance 344 times in six months has appeared in court.

Thomas Exhall, from Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, made the calls to 999 and 111 between 1 December 2017 and 29 April 2018 and his actions cost the NHS a total of £24,883.

Exhall was usually intoxicated when he rang, and often verbally abused our 999 call handlers and ambulance crews who attended him. If he was taken to hospital he would often discharge himself before being seen, and then he would go home, and call 999 or 111 again.

Exhall appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Monday 14 January where he denied both making the calls and his abusive behaviour.

Magistrates found Exhall guilty and he was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £400 in compensation to EMAS.

Another frequent caller, Victoria Cross, was prosecuted last week for making more than 200 fake calls in just over two weeks. She appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court.

Cross, from Moira, near Swadlincote, made the calls between Christmas and New Year and freely admitted in calls that she was ringing because she was “bored and didn’t care about anyone else”.

When she realised her number had been blocked by the emergency services, she bought different sim cards for her mobile phone so that she could continue to make 999 calls.

One of Cross’s false calls led to a one minute eight second delay for a child in cardiac arrest.

Cross was ordered to pay £165 in fines and she was given a conditional discharge for 18 months.

In this case, and the Cross case last week, our Frequent Caller Team has worked closely with police and other professionals in an attempt to support these individuals, but had been left with no option but to pursue prosecution.

Deborah Powell, Frequent Caller Lead for EMAS, said: “We are pleased that we have had two successful prosecutions after a lot of hard work.

“We would urge people again to make the right 999 call and only phone us in a life-threatening emergency.

“Our staff come to work to save lives and help people, not to be abused. We will continue to work with police to prosecute those who misuse our service to ensure that the support is there for those who need it in a real medical emergency.”

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